The majority of Accolade Wines’ brands sold in the EU and UK have been certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust since 2020.
Bringing you your favourite drink does produce currently unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions, whether that’s a result of vineyard practices, the winemaking process or packaging and transporting the wine.
We need to move to a low-carbon world as quickly as possible, but even in the best-case scenario, this transition will take time. As such, whilst the reduction of our emissions is an ongoing process, we need to do something about the carbon emissions that we produce today.
As part of our carbon neutral process we annually measure and calculate the carbon emissions produced at every stage of our product supply chain, from vineyard to final use, which is then independently certified by the Carbon Trust.
The sum of our currently unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) is offset through the purchase of high-quality carbon credits (PAS 2060). These credits operate like a seesaw, with our carbon emissions balanced by equivalent emissions reductions delivered by projects around the world. So, whilst we develop new processes and technology to reduce our carbon impact, we believe paying to reduce an equivalent amount of carbon emissions through voluntary carbon offsetting is an effective way to take responsibility for our carbon footprint.
Carbon neutrality is not the end of our journey. As part of our Carbon Trust carbon neutral certification, we have committed to a year-on-year reduction in our product supply chain’s carbon emissions.
On one of our best-loved brands, Echo Falls, we have also introduced lighter-weight glass bottles to reduce the glass-related CO2 . Additionally, across our ‘Wine on Tap’ consumer formats, we have replaced the multi-material bag with a single material bag which can be recycled at major supermarkets . We’re also making investments in on-site renewable energy with recent solar panel installations at one of our Australian vineyards.
Accolade Wines Europe has partnered with climate and sustainability experts ClimateCare to offset its currently unavoidable carbon emissions across the portfolio. ClimateCare helps organisations take responsibility for their climate impact by financing, developing and managing carbon reduction projects across the world.
ClimateCare specialises in high-quality projects that both reduce carbon emissions and improve lives. The projects we are supporting through ClimateCare include innovative afforestation in Chile, clean cookstoves in South Africa, and renewable energy in the US and China. These projects not only cut carbon emissions, helping to tackle climate change, but also deliver a variety of sustainable development impacts on the ground too. For instance, the clean cookstoves project we support in South Africa not only cuts carbon emissions, it also reduces indoor air pollution, a major health issue in the developing world, saves families money on fuel, creates local jobs, and reduces deforestation in important water catchment areas.
Who are The Carbon Trust?
The Carbon Trust is a global climate consultancy driven by the mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future. It has been pioneering decarbonisation for more than 20 years for businesses, governments, and organisations. A leader in carbon footprinting, the Carbon Trust certiﬁes products, organisations and value chains around the world.
How does carbon offsetting work?
Behind the scenes there is a lot of complex methodology to ensure rigour and transparency, but the basic principle of carbon offsetting is very simple.
A project takes action to cut 1 tonne of CO2. An independent authority verifies the reduction has taken place and issues a 1 tonne “Emission Reduction’”. You purchase the Emission Reduction, which is retired on a public registry, so it cannot be used again. This process allows you to take responsibility for your own carbon emissions by funding a carbon-reduction project that could not take place without your investment.
Can offsetting carbon emissions really tackle climate change?
Offsetting alone is not going to tackle climate change.
We must move to a low-carbon world as quickly as possible. But, even in the best-case scenario, this transition will take time. In the meantime, we all have a carbon footprint, regardless of how hard we try to reduce it.
Until we reach a zero-carbon world we need to do something about this unavoidable, residual carbon footprint. Paying to reduce an equivalent amount of carbon emissions through voluntary carbon offsetting is the most cost effective, fast and efficient way of doing this.
Offsetting tackles climate change by:
- making real reductions in amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere that would not have happened otherwise
- providing funds for renewable technologies and energy efficient solutions
- raising awareness of the impact that our lifestyles have on the climate, encouraging us to do more to reduce our carbon footprint
Unlike other environmental impacts such as water use, it doesn’t matter where in the world carbon is reduced. This means that money spent on offsetting can be channelled to projects that deliver the maximum carbon reduction in the shortest time.
How do you know purchasing carbon credits does indeed reduce emissions?
There are strict guidelines set out by the United Nations and carbon offsetting is subject to some of the most robust measurement and verification processes in the climate and development space.
To generate carbon credits, the project developer must first demonstrate that Emission Reductions created would not have happened without their project.
Carbon reductions are then regularly measured to an agreed methodology, independently verified and only then are carbon credits issued. When you offset your carbon emissions these carbon credits are retired on a public registry and cannot be used again. This ensures that your payment directly funds a known and verified carbon reduction.
Why are the projects not based in Europe?
We work with our expert partner ClimateCare, to choose robust, high-quality projects that deliver emission reductions alongside sustainable development impacts.
Many of these projects are currently in developing economies. This is because until January 2021, the Kyoto Protocol dictated the locations of carbon reduction projects. This has now changed, giving scope for us to support projects in a wider range of locations in future, as they come online.
Isn’t carbon offsetting just a ‘get out of jail free’ card for businesses to carry on emitting greenhouse gases, rather than address their carbon footprint?
The goal of carbon offsetting is to encourage new behaviour that isn’t already being undertaken in the marketplace.
- Businesses nearly always reduce first. The first move should always be to reduce emissions. In reality, businesses invest in reducing their in-house carbon footprint before considering a payment to offset what remains. Internal reduction activities frequently save money, while investing in carbon offsetting involves a financial outlay. Few businesses make this sort of investment without first getting their own house in order and being fully committed to operating sustainably. Research shows that the typical offset buyer cut almost 17% of their scope 1 (direct) emissions, while the typical non-offset buyer reduced scope 1 emissions by less than 5% in the same year.
- Even if a business has done all it can to reduce its emissions it will still have a carbon footprint. Paying to offset it is better than not paying to offset it. Offsetting delivers real benefits for the environment, wildlife and local communities.
What is PAS 2060?
PAS 2060 is the internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality and builds on the existing PAS 2050 environmental standard. It sets out requirements for quantification, reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
For more information on carbon offsetting, visit the ClimateCare website.
 WRAP ‘Bottling wine in a changing climate’
 Our new Echo Falls glass bottles are 60g lighter than the bottles that we used before
 The single material bag can be recycled at soft plastic collection points at major supermarkets, after the tap has been removed, whereas the previous multi-material bag could only be disposed of as general waste.